1922 - 1924 Other Victor Acoustic Recordings of

Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

Version française

 


Click here to go to the Home Page of www.stokowski.org

Click here to go to the Navigation Table for www.stokowski.org

Aller à la Page d'accueil - Héritage de Stokowski

Aller au menu de navigation principal


 

 

          Version française

      Leopold Stokowski circa 1924

Navigation of Stokowski - Philadelphia recordings pages

Stokowski - Philadelphia acoustic recordings 1917-1924

click here to go to all Stokowski - Philadelphia acoustic recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia electrical recordings 1925-1940 click on the date below

1925 First Electrical Recording

1925 other electricals

1926

1927 - part 1

1927 - part 2

1928

1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

1934 - part 1

1934 - part 2

1935

1936

1937

no recordings 1938

1939-1940

Listings of the Musicians of some Famous Orchestras: Click on the link below

Boston Symphony Principal Musicians
Boston Symphony List All Musicians
Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians
Chicago Symphony List All Musicians
Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians
Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians
Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians
Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians
Saint Louis Symphony Musicians
San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians
San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians

 

1922 - 1924 Other Victor Acoustic Recordings of
Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

 

Status of Orchestral Recording in the Early 1920s

 

The acoustic recordings featured on this page of www.stokowski.org   and the other Philadelphia Orchestra recordings of 1920-1924 will likely sound to our ears today as being primitive and at times perhaps like an orchestra of banjos.  However, given the physical and technical challenges of achieving a satisfactory recording during the acoustic era, they remain remarkable.  Remember that only 67 sides of more than 450 recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra during the acoustic years were approved for release by Stokowski.

 

However, these Philadelphia Orchestra recordings demonstrate not only the superior recording results usually achieved by Victor, but also the superiority of the Philadelphia Orchestra of that time, as compared with other U.S. and European orchestras of which we have surviving recordings.  The Philadelphians under Stokowski achieved a level of tonal beauty, precision, virtuosity, and ensemble not typically matched by those other contemporary orchestras, at least as we may judge from recordings.  Consider as an example the contemporaneous 1923 recording of the great conductor Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) recording with his usual London group, the London Symphony Orchestra.  On June 1, 1923, they recorded the Beethoven Symphony no 7 on nine sides for (British) Columbia.  Of course, given the limitations of the acoustic process, this was not the full London Symphony, but rather a smaller number - perhaps 35 to 45 musicians grouped in front of the recording horn.  However, one would suppose these to be some of the best of the London musicians.

Felix Weingartner

 

Yet, listen to the excerpt from the third movement of the Beethoven symphony, and note the poor intonation, slurred and wrong notes, and the recurring break-down of ensemble playing.  This excerpt is by no means a "worst-case" example of the contemporary quality of playing.  Amateur orchestras today, in North America, Europe, and elsewhere routinely surpass this level.  It is easy to understand why many critics enthusiastically welcomed the qualities of the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski.  Click on the link, below to listen to (download) this example from that period, and then listen to the other Philadelphia recordings of 1922-1924 on this page.

 

Click here to listen to (download) the excerpt from the Weingartner - LSO Beethoven Symphony no 7 of 1923

 

1922 - Luigi Boccherini - Minuet from String Quintet in E Major opus 11 no 5 (G 275)

 

In 1922, Stokowski recorded what may have been his first recording of what eventually became many famous series of Stokowski arrangements or orchestration of works not originally written for a symphony orchestra.  This was an arrangement of the third movement of Luigi Boccherini's String Quintet in E major, opus 11 no 5. G 275.

 

Of course, Stokowski's first two recordings of the Brahms Hungarian Dances no 5 and no 6 are arrangements of works for piano four hands, but these were established works for orchestra played by many groups.  They also do not seem to be specifically orchestrations by Stokowski, although the instrumentation was changed to adapt to the acoustic recording process.  Also, in the case of this recording, the minuet from the Boccherini Quintet played by a symphony orchestra or large group was far from exclusive to Stokowski.  The encyclopedia catalog of acoustic recordings by Claude Graveley Arnold1 lists 11 acoustic recordings of this Boccherini piece prior to Stokowski.

 

Rather, Stokowski's many arrangements of works by Bach, Boccherini, Chopin, etc. added new orchestral works which Stokowski apparently liked, and wanted to make available to his audience in performances by his orchestra.  1922 was also the year of the first Stokowski orchestration of a Bach organ work for full symphony orchestra, the Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor BWV 582 3.

 

This Boccherini morsel was, however recorded more than a dozen times in orchestral arrangements by orchestras throughout the acoustic era.

 

This minuet from the Luigi Boccherini String Quintet opus 11 no 5  was issued on a 10 inch Victor Red Seal 66058, matrix B-25943-4, which was labeled on the disk as:  

Minuet

"Celebrated Minuet"

 

Click here to listen to (download) the Minuette from Luigi Boccherini's String Quintet G275

 

1922 - Stokowski arrangement of the Chopin  Prélude op 28 no 4 for piano

 

Later in 1922, Stokowski recorded another of his arrangements, that of the Chopin Prélude opus 28 no 4 for piano, which Stokowski had decided to orchestrate.  In my view, this is one of the more successful Stokowski orchestrations, in part because the orchestration is light, and in the case of the acoustic recording, the primary instruments are in the acoustic recording recording range.

 

This recording was coupled on Victor 1111 with the Tchaikovsky 'Song without Words' orchestration, which was recorded in 1924.  Although the Chopin was recorded in late 1922, and the Tchaikovsky was recorded in April, 1924, this disk was not distributed by Victor until late in 1925, after the new electrical recording process had been in place for some six months.  For this reason, and perhaps also because of the musical content - orchestrations of quiet, contemplative piano works, this Victor 1111 did not sell well, and today is difficult to find.

 

This short work, only about 2 minutes in length, remains interesting today.  Stokowski re-recorded this Chopin orchestration in 1950 with 'His Symphony Orchestra'.  Click on the link below to listen to this interesting transcription.

 

Click here to listen to (download) the Chopin Prélude opus 28 no 4 from 1922

 

1922 - Schubert - German Dance D. 783

 

Another Stokowski orchestration was the German Dance D. 783 by Franz Schubert, which Stokowski re-titled Viennese Dance, perhaps due to concerns about a continued anti-German sentiment which had been so strong in the US during the First World War.  (You might be interested to read about the shocking arrest in Boston and internment of the great conductor Karl Muck when he was conductor of the Boston Symphony during the First World War by clicking here.)  Unlike the Boccherini, and to a lesser extent the Chopin arrangement, both performed by a number of other symphony orchestras during the acoustic era, this Stokowski arrangement was one-of-a-kind, not emulated by other conductor of other orchestras.

 

Stokowski's label for this work 'Viennese Dance' was certainly appropriate for this performance, since the sway of the music has a grace and Viennese lilt that remains georgeous even to this day.  This must have been a delightful recording to play on the acoustic Victrolas of the day.  Click on the link below to listen to his memory of past playing style.

 

This recording made on Monday, December 4, 1922 in the Camden Church Studio was issued in August, 1923 on Victor 12 inch Red Seal disk 74814, matrix number C 27012-7.

 

Click here to listen to (download) the 1922 Schubert German Dance D783

 

Victor "Double Faced" Red Seal discs

 

On September 21, 1923, Victor for the first time introduced "Double Faced" Red Seal disks, having a record surface on both sides of the disk.  The Victor Black Seal disks had been double faced since 1908 2, but Red Seal disks had not been, due to the difficulty to gain agreement with the classical artists.

 

Victor advertised this as the "Biggest Event in the History of Music".  Although perhaps overblown, the fact that Victor sold these double faced Red Seal records at only a slight premium over the single faced disk price was a major savings for the music fan, as well as being what economists would likely consider a test of "elasticity of demand".  In fact, the introduction of the double sided disk helped Victor sales in 1923 to slightly recover from the drop experienced in 1922.

 

 

Advertisement for Victor Red Seal Double Faced Records

Voice of Victor Magazine - 1922

 

1924 - Schubert "Unfinished" Symphony in B minor

 

1924 marked the end of the acoustic recording era for Stokowski and the  Philadelphians, with the advent of the electrical process beginning the next year.  Also in 1924, they made their first recording of a complete symphony, the Schubert "Unfinished".  This symphony of course was performed numerous times not only by Stokowski, but also his predecessors.  In its 1882 - 1883 season, for example, the Germania Orchestra, a predecessor of the Philadelphia Orchestra under William Stoll, performed the Unfinished Symphony in May, 1883 4.

 

This also was by no means the first acoustic recording of a complete symphony.  Artur Nikisch and the Berlin Philharmonic recorded their famous complete (although cut) recording of the Beethoven Symphony no 5 on eight sides in November, 1913. There were also a number of other complete symphonic recordings in the decade prior to Stokowski's Unfinished, including 'complete' versions of the Unfinished by Leo Blech and the Berlin Philharmonic in 1922 and Adrian Boult (pre-knighthood days) in 1923.

 

However, the practice at the time by nearly all orchestras and recordings was to record one movement of a symphony, and often heavily cut to fit on one side.  Stokowski's acoustic recordings of the heavily cut second movements of the Beethoven Symphony no 8, or the Dvorak New World symphony, or of the third movement of the Tchaikovsky Pathétique are typical of this.

 

In fact, this Stokowski 1924 recording of the complete Unfinished Symphony was the first Victor recording of any complete symphony.  It was recorded April 18 and 19, 1924, although C. G. Arnold's superb discography (see Leopold Stokowski Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits ) indicates that one side was recorded in August, 1924.  Since there were not other Philadelphia Orchestra recording sessions in August, 1924, this may open to question.  (Stokowski and the Philadelphians had previously had a go at recording the Unfinished in sessions in December 1923 and January 1924, which were not approved by Stokowski.)

 

This recording suffers from many of the usual acoustic rearrangements, with what sounds like a bassoon replacing the tympani, and again, reduced forces - only 44 musicians were used in this recording.  Also, basses, as before were considered not to reproduce well in this recording process.  In fact, according to the ledgers, no string basses at all were used in this recording. Instead, bass clarinets and tubas took the parts of the string basses, as can be heard in modern reproduction.

 

Also, although this is a good performance that would satisfy many listeners of that time, the performance (it seems to me) lacks that ultimate transforming passion of some of the best of the hundreds of later recordings of the Unfinished.  In my opinion, this may reflects Stokowski's only partial sympathy with the classical period of the first thirty years of the nineteenth century, when the symphonies of Beethoven and Schubert transformed the era of Haydn and Mozart.  In fact, the Unfinished was the only Schubert symphony that Stokowski ever recorded commercially, although Stokowski did perform the Schubert Symphony no 9 "Great" symphony fairly frequently at Philadelphia concerts.

 

Still, this is a good performance, and significantly better than the other two acoustic 'Unfinished' Symphonies I have heard (of Sir Henry Wood and Leo Blech).

 

The 1924 Schubert Unfinished was issued on three double faced 12 inch Victor Red Seal disks, Victor 6459 - 6461, matrix numbers  C-29052-5, C-29053-5, C-29054-5, C-29055-4, C-29056-5, and C-29057-5.

 

Click here to listen to Stokowski's 1924 recording of the Schubert "Unfinished" - Mvmt 1

 

Click here to listen to Stokowski's 1924 recording of the Schubert "Unfinished" - Mvmt 2

 

 

One advantage is that the Stokowski 1924 recording of the Schubert Unfinished was on 6 sides, and is complete, as far as I can determine.  Most acoustic recordings of the Unfinished were on four sides (not to mention the frightening prospect of the several two sided issues). 

 

The effect of these required cuts on the symphony, when recorded on four sides, can be witnessed in listening to the following comparison, which occurs some two and one half minutes into the symphony. 

 

First is the 1923 recording by Sir Henry Wood and the New Queen's Hall Orchestra on English Columbia.  This recording replaced the identically numbered 1919 Wood recording on L1360 and L1361, but with new matrix numbers 76518-3, 76519-4, 76520-4, 76521-4.

 

  Sir Henry Wood in about 1914

 

This excerpt from the Sir Henry Wood recording is from a restoration is by Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio using his brilliant new technique "Natural Sound".  Andrew Rose's sound for the Wood performance  is far superior to the Stokowski transcription. 

 

In the excerpt below, the Stokowski 1924 recording, follows the Wood, beginning at the same point about two and one half minutes into the symphony.  I believe you will quickly notice the impact of what is included in the Stokowski 1924 recording, and missing from Sir Henry Wood's 1923 recording.  Cut from the Wood version is the minor key build up of the theme rising to the yearning recapitulation of the initial theme of the symphony.

 

On the other hand, I hear horns in the Wood recording, and more strings.  Stokowski's recording, with 44 musicians (with no horns) used no bass strings, but substituted a bass clarinet and a tuba.

 

Speaking of a bass clarinet, in the Stokowski Fans Yahoo group, I read an account by Lawrence Matheson, the Stokowski fan and expert, recounting a conversation he had with Janet Frank  who had been a cellist with Stokowski's American Symphony Orchestra.  She said that Stokowski had added a bass clarinet to the orchestra for the Schubert Unfinished, when performed by the American Symphony Orchestra in the 1960s.  Perhaps this was inspired by his experience with these acoustic recording arrangements.

 

In spite of the better sound of the Wood transfer, to my ears, the Stokowski performance is far more vital, engaged, and inspired.  Judge for yourself, by clicking the link below.

 

Click here to listen to Sir Henry Wood, followed by Leopold Stokowski in an excerpt from the Unfinished

 


 

Note on listening to the Stokowski recordings

 

The recordings in this site are files in mp3 format (128 mbps) encoded from my recordings.  Links to the mp3 files are located in two places:

 

First - in the page covering the year of the recording.  For example, links to a 1926 recording are found in the page:   1926 - Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings  

 

Second - in the Chronological Discography page.  For example, links to a 1926 recording are also found in the electrical recordings chronological discography page:  Chronological Discography of Electrical Recordings    This page lists all the electrical recordings from 1925 to 1940 made by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski and issued by Victor, including of course the 1926 recordings.

 

The mp3 files in this site are encoded at 128 mbps.  This means that the files are of different sizes, according to the length of the music.  For example, the second electrical recording, the April 29, 1925 Borodin ‘Polovetzki Dances’ is small (3.6MB).  In contrast, the 1929 Le Sacre du Printemps file is large.  Le Sacre part 1 is 14MB and Le Sacre part 2 is 16MB.

 

This means that a large file will take a longer time to download, depending on your internet connection speed.  Please keep this in mind when you click to listen to - download a particularly music file.  You may click the link to the music file, but need to wait a number of seconds or even minutes to listen to the file.

 


If you have any comments or questions about this Leopold Stokowski site, please e-mail me (Larry Huffman) at e-mail address: leopold.stokowski@gmail.com 


 
You are now on the page 1922-1924 Stokowski Acoustic Recordings    Return to Top of this Page

Navigation Table - www.stokowski.org

Click here to return to

www.stokowski.org  Home Page

Navigation:

Acoustic Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)

Navigation:

Electrical Recordings of

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

(Click on the link below)

Navigation:

Musicians of Leading US Orchestras

(Click on the link below)

Development of Acoustic Recording

Development of Electrical Recording

Boston Symphony Principal Musicians

1917-1924 Acoustic recordings

Licensing the Electrical System

Boston Symphony List All Musicians

1917 - first Acoustic Victor recordings

1925 - First Electrical Recording

Chicago Symphony Principal Musicians

1917-1919 Other Acoustic recordings

1925 - Other Electrical Recordings

Chicago Symphony List All Musicians

1920-1921 Other Acoustic recordings

1926 Recordings

Cleveland Orchestra Principal Musicians

1922-1924 Other Acoustic recordings

1927 Recordings - Part 1

Cleveland Orchestra List All Musicians

1919-1924 Russian Acoustic recordings

1927 Recordings - Part 2

Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Musicians

1920-1924 French Acoustic recordings

1928 Recordings

Philadelphia Orchestra List All Musicians

1921-1924 Wagner Acoustic recordings

1929 Recordings

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians

1921-1924 Tchaikovsky Acoustic recordings

1930 Recordings

Saint Louis Symphony Musicians

1924 Rachmaninoff - Stokowski Acoustic recordings

1931 Recordings

San Francisco Symphony Principal Musicians

Navigation: Other Stokowski Materials

(Click on the link below)

1932 Recordings

San Francisco Symphony List All Musicians

Edward Johnson:

Leopold Stokowski and British Music

1933 Recordings

Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York Musicians

Edward Johnson:

Stokowski and Vaughan Williams

1934 Recordings - Part 1

Germania Orchestra Musicians

Biography of Leopold Stokowski

1934 Recordings - Part 2

Navigation: Stokowski Discographies

(Click on the link below)

Interviews with Leopold Stokowski

1935 Recordings

Description of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Discographies

Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

1936 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Acoustic Discography

Stokowski, Dr. Harvey Fletcher and Experimental Recordings of Bell Laboratories

1937 Recordings

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Chronological Electrical Discography

Further Material about Leopold Stokowski

( No Recordings in 1938 )

Fritz Reiner Discography

Camden Church Studio and other Victor Talking Machine Recording Locations

1939 - 1940 Recordings

CDs of Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra

Stokowski - Philadelphia Orchestra Bibliography, Sources and Credits

 

Masters of Historic Disk Restoration

Click here to return to  www.stokowski.org   Home Page
You are now on the page 1922-1924 Stokowski Acoustic Recordings    Return to Top of this Page

 


 

1   Arnold, Claude Graveley, C.S.B.  The Orchestra on Record, 1896 - 1926, An Encyclopedia of Orchestral Recordings Made by the Acoustical Process.  Discographies, Number 73, Greenwood Press, Westport Connecticut. 1997. ISBN 0-313-30099-2.


 

 

 

Tableau de navigation: site www.stokowski.org

 

L'Héritage de Stokowski - Accueil français

Victor Talking Machine Company, Eldridge Johnson, et le développement de la technologie d'enregistrement acoustique

1917 - 1924 les enregistrements acoustique Victor de Leopold Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 -  Premiers enregistrements acoustique de Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1917 - 1919 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1921 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1922 - 1924 autres enregistrements acoustique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1919 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Russe Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1920 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique français - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 -1924 enregistrements acoustique Tchaïkovski - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1921 - 1924 enregistrements acoustique Wagner - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1924 enregistrements acoustique Rachmaninov - Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

 

Développement de l'enregistrement électrique

Permis d'exploitation du système Westrex donné à Victor et Columbia

1925 Premier enregistrement électrique Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1925 autres enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1926 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1927 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Encore des enregistrements 1927 électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1928 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1929 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1930 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1931 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1932 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1933 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1934 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

Encore des enregistrements 1934 électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1935 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1936 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1937 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

1939-1940 enregistrements électriques Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie

 

D'autres documents sur Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Camden église studio - Victor Talking Machine studio d'enregistrement

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie Enregistrement à l'Académie de musique de Philadelphie

Interviews avec Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski Orchestrations

Leopold Stokowski, Harvey Fletcher et les laboratoires Bell expérimental enregistrements

Maîtres de restauration moderne de disques historique

CDs de Stokowski et l'Orchestre de Philadelphie

Leopold Stokowski Discographies chronologique

      Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements acoustique

      Leopold Stokowski Discographie chronologique - enregistrements électriques

Leopold Stokowski - Orchestre de Philadelphie bibliographie, des sources et crédits

 

L'Orchestre symphonique de Boston - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de Chicago - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Cleveland - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre du Metropolitan Opera de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre philharmonique de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre de Philadelphie - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique Russe de New York - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de San Francisco - musiciens principaux

L'Orchestre symphonique de St. Louis - musiciens principaux